Working the Ball

Hi all,

Lately I’ve been having real trouble working the ball. My ball generally goes pretty straight or falls off to the right. When I try to move the ball it doesn’t really do it with much consistency unless I really try to curve it a lot. I was just wondering what you guys feel is the best way to get your shots to curve, whether it’s a set up thing or something you do consciously on the downswing etc.

I understand this is covered in one of the later modules for the students here so please refrain for sharing anything that would be deemed as private.

Thanks in advance

What ball do you use? I find something like a prov1 really difficult to work, but something with a much lower compression like a Wilson dx2 very easy to move around.

I’ve had some luck with the Nike RZN White. It has a bit higher ball flight than the ProV1, but it seems to bend a little easier.

Something that works well for me is kinda bass ackwards… If I want to fade it, I take normal grip and toe in the club at address, then picture the heel coming in first… For a draw, I take my normal grip and open up the face depending how much draw I want on it and it reminds the brain to come in square… Don’t change your grip at all just manipulate the face at setup… It works well for the draw because it doesn’t deloft the face and can get to left pins easier… My aim doesn’t change…

This works well for me too

That’s a good point about the ball, I hadn’t really given it much thought. I’ll look into some softer balls and play around with them on the course.

And I do almost the exact opposite right now, for draws I play with a square face but try to come into the ball from the inside, and for fades I just open the face and try to keep the heel slightly ahead through the shot.

Thanks for the replies guys

That works for me too.
The other thing that helps me clarify the difference is looking at the image of Jon demonstrating longitudinal and radial acceleration.
There’s an picture where Jon shows the butt end of the shaft exiting out around his body and one where the shaft exits in a 'telescoping" manner.
My swing leads to hooks and draws and my shaft likely exits in a “radial” fashion.
If i want to fade(more difficult move for me), I have to try hard to let the shaft extend and resist the clubhead rotating and allow the heel to lead, playing the ball slightly forward and feel almost like “chasing” the ball and making the plane more elliptical at impact rather than circular.

There are a lot of different ways to draw and fade the ball. All you have to do is visit any driving range and you’ll see that hackers are wonderful and making the ball curve.

The key is to work toward developing a technique that is rock solid and dependable. The advanced students here are learning to shape the ball using the bigger muscles in the body… and the function of the hands have to do more with resisting very strong opposing forces and pressures through impact and beyond to shape the ball. There is a more sophisticated way of shaping shots than is typically taught with such methods and opening or closing the stance or having to manipulate the grip or anything at address for that matter.

If you can learn to cut the ball from the 4:30 line you are heading in the right direction. Then learning to draw the ball becomes incrementally more difficult with the proper technique because the pressures and forces set in place increase exponentially as more and more hook spin is put on the ball. This is the masterful way for a hitter to shape shots.

What you want is to have a technique where your body feels it has to make BIG changes in the motion to get the ball to curve slightly… either way. I call this the “gear effect”. If you think of two gears, a big gear and a small gear, you want your body to be the small gear and the ball to be the big gear. Therefore it takes big tangible movements and or sensations to get the ball to move slightly more … either direction. What you don’t want is to feel you are the big gear and the ball is the small gear… therefore creating a situation where any slight movement of the body create a big movement of the small gear or the ball.

Controlling draws and fades “swinging” is much more tedious.

That’s a really interesting analogy, and it makes a lot of sense. That’s usually the sensation I get when I try to turn the ball over. Fades happen pretty consistently but I feel like the difference between a drawing the ball a few yards and hitting left of the green is microscopic sometimes.


Training the mind at the same time is probably equally important… You’re onto something when you can examine the hole and conditions and be able to vary the trajectory and curve without needing a swing thought… That’s where I’m at in my game now anyway…